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Cadwalader's "Playboy" Partner Wants to Tell His Side

Vivia Chen

October 27, 2011

Playboy oct 2004

How do you know you've arrived in your career? When you can afford beachfront property in the Hamptons? A hot wife? Or when you've become fodder for the tabloids?

Most lawyers would be satisfied if their names graced the Am Law Daily just once during their careers.

But Ira Schacter, 51, a partner at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, is way ahead of the pack. Both the New York Post and the U.K.'s Daily Mail (not to mention Above the Law) are making hay out of the news that he refused to pay $12,000 for his teenage daughter's hearing aid, while he ponied up $215,000 for an engagement ring for his 26-year-old girlfriend. (Schacter's love interest, Lace Rose Allenius, is not your usual Am Law 100 trophy wife: She posed in Playboy's 2004 college girl issue, and even dated Matt Dillon before finding her way to Schacter's arms.)

Schacter is getting a lot of media attention--but none of it very sympathetic. No wonder, then, that Schacter now wants to tell his side of the story. (I was so excited when his P.R. firm, Rubenstein & Associates, contacted me after I e-mailed Schacter for comment, offering me an interview with Schacter or his lawyer--but alas, Schacter is choosing to tell his story through his lawyer, Ashish Josh.)

The latest media storm, says Josh, was kicked up by his former wife. "The issue is not about the hearing aid, but about [Janice] trying to litigate the divorce in public." (As you might have guessed, the spillover from Schacter's messy divorce has been going on for some time. In 2008, New York's Daily News reported on how they got into a scuffle in which she accused him of wife-beating; he was cleared of that charge.)

So what is it that his lawyer wants to make clear? The reason Schacter refused to pay for the hearing aid was that he wasn't consulted about it beforehand, as he should have been under the divorce decree. His ex-wife, says Josh, was using the hearing device as a pretext to revisit the custody arrangement (Josh says Schacter has sole custody, though the kids don't live with him): "It's hearing aid one day, but it could be about socks next week."

But what about that engagement ring for Schacter's honey? Was it really worth $215,000? Josh says yes, but adds, "[Schacter's ex-wife] has a ring of the same value. . . . He's just a generous guy."

Who's right or wrong in this? I honestly don't know, and I'm not sure I care anymore.

Schacter.I_webAny way you look at it, no one is coming off too well. I certainly can't imagine Cadwalader is too happy with all this. (The firm sent me a statement that said: "Ira is a valued partner at Cadwalder. We have no comment on personal matters." )

Let's just hope that Schacter (on left) has an esoteric expertise that makes him invaluable to the firm. (I assume he's very talented, because I found his firm bio to be incomprehensible. Cadwalader touts him as an expert in "securitization, including insurance risk, whole-company, and CDOs . . .  swap receivables, repo . . . as well as a variety of other unique assets, such as franchise royalties and shipping containers.")

Sadly, though, it doesn't look like Schacter will be having intimate chats about structuring obscure financial instruments with his ladylove. Two months ago, Allenius decided not to wed Schacter. Josh confirms that she's even returned the ring.

Schacter isn't talking, but he did send me this statement through his PR firm: "I believe it is very unfortunate, hurtful, and not at all in my children's best interest that Janice has chosen to distort the facts and utilize the media when issues have not gone her way in court."

I'd agree with this much--the children are the losers. The hearing aid, the showy diamond ring, the Playboy model, the allegedly vengeful wife, the dweeby partner--it's all amusing, and rather sad. 

Correction: An earlier version stated P.R. firm, Rubenstein & Associates, contacted me. That firm contacted me after I had e-mailed Schacter for comment.


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Here's an article on Vivia's heroine, Schachter's ex-wife, being scolded by a judge. A female judge, no less: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/hubby_accuser_gagged_C29jQU5cruLewtMOXRTzcJ?utm_campaign=OutbrainA&utm_source=OutbrainArticlepages&obref=obinsource

Who cares? How is this newsworthy or helpful to anyone's legal career? Reading this was a complete waste of time.

The wife is only trying to hurt his reputation. She receives $60,000 a month. She should have written a check immediately for the hearing aids. It is more important for her to try and make him look bad than help her daughter. "Revenge" only hurts the children. What a terrible person. I hope the daughter got the hearing aids.

I feel badly for everyone involved here. Having done only a few matrimonials in my career, what I do know is that there are two sides to everything. And we just don't know what happened between these parties, so I am not judging them

Wow, what a surprise, yet another article that, sounds like P R E J U D I C E ... plain and simple.

Vivia, Kevin's right, it's comical that, nearly every story you post decries the sexist, prejudicial behavior of those with a penis... And, you perpetually engage in the exact same behavior.

Maybe it's just a kettle calling a pot black situation; but, as a lawyer (like most of us) you are surely aware of the doctrine of "unclean hands."

So, possibly, we can consider this just a teachable moment, and either practice what we preach... or change what we preach to better comport with what we A L W A Y S practice. Candidly, to do otherwise, and simply stay-your-course, is, well "amusing, and rather sad."

Then again, what do I know, having a penis, I must be a "dweeb," right?

I did not realize that The Careerist is a paid p.r. firm for an overpaid, moronic nouveau-riche Cadwalader partner who loved all the media attention until he was outgunned by his ex-wife's publicity offensive.

So how is this news? No one cares other than to laugh at a big law partner getting screwed in every opening. That's not news; that's justice.

So the ex-wife is only "allegedly" vengeful but Mr. Schacter is definitely "dweeby"? You're a riot, Vivia.

Its only sad to older, vengeful women like you, Vivia.

The guy got Playmate sex from a Playmate-aged chick, all the while not allowing himself to get raked over by his ex in a divorce, and in the end managed to not get tied down again. He even got the ring back, and will be flooded with sexual opportunities from other young hot chicks as a result of the social proofing, and attendant tabloid publicity, from having had a 26 YO Playboy Playmate fiance.

Ira Schachter, if you are reading this: please do us all a favor, and enter the race for President.

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The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: [email protected]

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